WASHINGTON — With a 4-1 win in Thursday’s finale at Nationals Park, the Mets managed to extend one of the sport’s most impressive early-season streaks. So far this season, the Mets have played 10 series. They have lost none of them, posting a 9-0-1 record in series overall.
The Mets are MLB’s only team featuring an undefeated series mark. Their overall 22-11 record rates third-best in the league, behind only the Yankees and Dodgers. And beyond that, the Mets have offered plenty of evidence that this sort of run might be sustainable.
Here are 10 takeaways from New York’s 10 unblemished series to open the season:
1. Taijuan Walker can be an important rotation piece
One of several starters to report to camp amidst uncertainty, Walker rebounded from March knee trouble and April shoulder woes to become a regular rotation member by May. Thursday’s seven-inning outing was by far his best so far this season, with zero runs allowed and 11 ground-ball outs. Although Walker spent some time between innings using a heating pack on his lower back, he characterized that as typical treatment.
What Walker stressed is that he’s feeling as physically sound as ever, giving the Mets comfort at the back of their rotation.
“It felt really good just to go out there and contribute and go deep into games,” Walker said. “Now I feel like after this outing, I should be in the clear to go deep every game.”
2. Mark Canha might be ready to break out
Manager Buck Showalter said he has never seen a player get more out of an off day than Canha, who spent his time on Wednesday performing conditioning work and trying out swing tweaks. There was reason for it; despite Canha’s .291 average entering Thursday’s play, he had contributed only two extra-base hits.
That changed when Canha belted a solo homer in the ninth inning as part of a three-hit afternoon — “a little bit of an acknowledgement,” he said, “that I’m swinging the bat the right way.” Canha credits an adjustment he made for that final at-bat, moving his hands closer to his body. If it results in continued power, surely Canha will maintain that position.
3. Pete Alonso has already broken out
Another series, another home run for Alonso, who hit a two-run homer in Wednesday’s 8-3 loss. Alonso now has homers in seven of the Mets’ 10 series this year, and the team is 6-1 in games when he goes deep. That isn’t a surprise for a player who clubbed 53 homers as a rookie in 2019, but it’s still an encouraging sign given the depressed home run rate around MLB.
4. The team plays fundamentally sound defense
One of Thursday’s most important plays occurred in the fourth inning, when the Mets retired both Juan Soto and Josh Bell on a fielder’s choice. The rundown became a social media sensation because of its wacky nature, including a slow-motion collision between Walker and Soto at third base. But don’t let that overshadow an important point: it happened because Walker, shortstop…
Read More: Mets continue streak of not losing series in 2022 2022-05-12 23:07:36